Gary Lineker rounds off 2018 with perfect tweet about Lionel Messi and the Ballon d'Or

Tottenham Hotspur v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Group B

Bar a disappointing World Cup and missing out on the Ballon d'Or for a third year running, 2018 has been a great year for Lionel Messi.

With Barcelona the Argentine completed the La Liga and Copa del Rey double last season, scoring 34 goals and assisting a further 12 in 36 league appearances.

His closest challengers for the Pichichi Trophy - which he won, of course - were Cristiano Ronaldo (26) and Luis Suarez (25), which just goes to show how dominant Messi was.

And now, heading into 2019, Barca are top of La Liga by three points and Messi is the leading goalscorer on 15 - four ahead of Suarez.

Individually Messi has been phenomenal throughout 2018, which is why a lot of people were annoyed when he came a lowly fifth in the Ballon d'Or rankings.

Luka Modric claimed the award having won the Champions League with Real Madrid and captained Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final, where they lost to France.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann then occupied second and third respectively, Kylian Mbappe came fourth and Messi, despite his stats, rounded off the top five.

FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Group B

Winning the Ballon d'Or was perhaps out of the question for Messi, but there's no denying he should have placed higher than fifth. The fact of the matter is he out-scored and out-assisted everyone.

And that's exactly the point Gary Lineker has made in one of his last tweets of 2018 about Messi and what he's achieved.

"The leading scorer in Europe's top [five] leagues in 2018 was Messi with 47 goals," Lineker wrote. "The most assists made in Europe's top [five] leagues in 2018 was Messi with 26.

"He also scored directly from more [free-kicks] than anyone in the history of Europe's top [five] leagues. [Fifth] in Ballon d'Or 👍🏻."


Lineker clearly still can't believe Messi came fifth in the Ballon d'Or rankings and it's hard to argue with the numbers.

But perhaps 2019 will end differently for the 31-year-old, who is currently Europe's top goalscorer on 15 and on course to enjoy another trophy-laden season with Barcelona.

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